Weekend Review: Tigers Take Two from LSU
Kendall Veach (24) (Photo: Auburn Athletics/Dakota Sumpter)
After playing eighteen straight games within the walls of Jane B. Moore Field, Auburn Softball welcomed LSU to open SEC play and to play three final games before a lengthy road trip. The series had a little of everything: great pitching, solid offense, and bizarre happenings that truly made the 2017 conference opener one for the books. FRIDAY- AUBURN 5 LSU 4 Auburn used an effort all-around in Friday night’s series opener. With key situational hitting mixed with Kaylee Carlson’s maturity in the circle, the Orange and Blue Tigers recovered from being down twice to earn the 5-4 win. LSU jumped to an early 2-0 lead in the first inning. Emily Griggs led off the evening with a single for LSU and came around to score when Sahvanna Jaquish nailed a home run over the right field wall two at-bats later. Auburn answered in the third inning by scoring three and taking the lead. After Victoria Draper singled and Kasey Cooper walked to open the inning, Haley Fagan laced a double to score Draper, while Kendall Veach grounded out in the next at-bat to score Cooper, tying the game. Courtney Shea would give Auburn the lead in the next at-bat by sending Fagan across the plate on a single. The Bayou Bengals quickly tied the game again in the fourth inning, when Sydney Springfield belted LSU’s second home run of the night to left field. LSU regained the lead in the top of the 5th by scoring an unearned run. The lead would only last for half of an inning, as Veach picked up her second RBI of the day on a double in the bottom half to tie the game for the second time. Later in the inning, an error by LSU’s second baseman Constance Quinn allowed Morgan Podany to reach first base, while also allowing Shea to score, giving Auburn their second and final lead. Veach went 1-4 with 2 RBI in the win, Carlson went the distance in the circle allowing five hits and three earned runs. SUNDAY- LSU 8 AUBURN 0 (F-6 INNINGS) The conference opening series between Auburn and LSU was to follow a Friday-Saturday-Sunday schedule, however, mother nature played a role in Saturday’s game. Rain began to fall in the final minutes of the pregame schedule, forcing the contest to be postponed until noon Sunday, in addition to the regularly scheduled game at 4 PM. Carley Hoover kept the Auburn Tigers off the board, allowing the LSU offense to attack often in an 8-0 run rule game to start the day. Hoover struck out six batters and allowed only three hits, two of those belonged to Podany. The top performer for LSU in the game was Bailey Landry, as she went 3-4 with two doubles. Jaquish had three RBI in the game. AUBURN 5 LSU 4 In a “winner-take-all” match, Auburn’s game three win came down to the final play. With two outs and two on in the bottom of the seventh of a 4-4 game. Veach hit a grounder to LSU third baseman Shemiah Sanchez, who appeared to be in the process of making a routine play to first base. However, the throw missed its target, bouncing off the glove of Springfield. The ball moved just far enough out of play to score Kasey Cooper from 2nd base, winning the game. Auburn would need to play catch up in this game as well. Up 2-0 in the first inning, LSU fought back to score three runs in the fifth inning to take the lead. After scoring two and regaining the lead in the bottom half of the fifth, LSU tied the game at 4 in the top of the 7th on a single by Jaquish, that was ruled an error that ultimately scored Landry. Carlson earned her 13th win of the season, and 2nd of the weekend in game two on Sunday. She allowed nine hits in seven innings of work, striking out six while walking two. Auburn’s record is now 22-3, 2-1 in SEC play. The Tigers will take on spring break next week, by playing two mid-week games with Tennessee and Middle Tennessee State, before participating in a tournament hosted by the University of South Florida next weekend.